GECOM Commissioner says Guyana’s issues bigger than elections

−CARICOM still available to be intermediary

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Commissioner of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Vincent Alexander said on Tuesday that the issues emanating from the current electoral process is bigger than the process itself and should not be ignored.

Commissioners Alexander and Charles Corbin spoke with the media last evening after emerging from an hours-long commission meeting.

During that engagement, the commission was setting the stage for the commencement of the national recount of votes of the March 2 polls, as agreed between His Excellency President David Granger and opposition leader Bharrat Jagdeo and which would have been observed by a high-level team from CARICOM.

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GECOM Commissioner Vincent Alexander

Part of that preparation too was ensuring that all legal requirements were in play before moving forward since the process was new to both the commission and Guyana. It was during the process that the commission was made aware of an injunction preventing the procedure from moving forward.

Barring that hiccup, Alexander said as a citizen, the current situation is not good for the country. However, he opined that the issue is way beyond electoral solution and “we have to look for other solutions because the root cause of our problem is not in the electoral process.”

“We have serious problems with the plurality of our society, the distrust, the quest for power from various segments to the ignorance of the real problem and appreciation of the totality of the Guyanese society and we have to seek a solution in that regard,” he told the media.

According to Alexander, “the trust issue” is far beyond anything that GECOM can do. As a commissioner, he assured that processes were in train to determine the legality and validity of the elections process, “but we did not reach the end to make a determination.”

In the meantime, he related that CARICOM has not given up on Guyana. While its service has been withdrawn for the moment, the regional institution has indicated that it is available for intervention if the need arises.

GECOM will appear in court on Friday, March 20, to respond to an injunction filed on Tuesday by a private citizen, preventing it from executing an agreed upon aide-memoire between President Granger, opposition leader Bharrat Jagdeo and CARICOM, requesting the regional body to overlook the recount of votes cast in this year’s General and Regional Elections.

President Granger had sought the intervention of CARICOM’s Chair Mia Motley to bring an end to the questions by both local and international observers and Guyana, about the legitimacy of the election results. Everything has now been put on hold until the hearing.

“It leaves us to hear what the courts have to say. What we thought could have been to have been a parallel process while we attempted to get the legal processes straightened. All the consultations we have had, and the approaches we have already made, that where we thought we were properly covered to proceed with the activity, in accordance with legislation identified and the constitution, we could not get a firm view for support,” Commissioner Corbin stated.

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